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What's better than candy?...Death

Then he heard a shout and turned his head and saw something like a ginat pig bounding after him, shaking a red and white club and shouting. He plunged under once and this time, the waiting current caught him like a long gentle hand and pulled him swiftly forward and down.
O'Connor, ''The River'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

When I read this passage I was slightly shocked. O'Connor's description of the man and the river is completely opposite of the norm. For example, she describes the harmless piece of candy Mr. Paradise holds for the child as a "red and white club." Furthermore, he describes Mr. Paradise, a man who attempts to save Bevel from drowning, as a "pig." On the other hand, O'Connor describes the fiercely flowing river as a "gentle hand." By depicting the river in a good light, O'Connor questions the goodness of a society that drives a little boy to drown himself.


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